Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wisdom: Rekindle That Enthusiasm

Happy New Year!

I was thinking about my software the other day. I have a piece of software I created over 20 years ago and it still sells today. Somewhere along the line I lost my enthusiasm for this product. Maybe I got busy on other stuff, maybe sales weren't as robust as I thought they should have been. Anyway for whatever reason I seem to have lost enthusiasm for my software... until now.

A few weeks ago I was watching a show on TV about singers and songwriters who created hits back in the 1960s. And when these artists got up to perform their songs even though these songs are more than 50 years old they sang them with enthusiam and gusto. This got me thinking that I'm missing the boat here with my software.

If you're like me and you have a software product that's been selling for twenty years and it's still selling today, that tells you people like your stuff. I'm going to say that again. If you have a software product that's been selling for twenty years and it's still selling today, that tells you people like your stuff. So take it from me don't become complacent. Don't take that fact for granted.

So this year starting today January 1, 2012, a brand-new year, I'm changing the attitude I have about my software. I will treat my software as though it were a hit song. My software is a hit. If you're in the same boat as me I want you to recognize the fact that you have a hit as well. Hits don't come along that often, in fact there are some songwriters who are known as one-hit wonders. They spend their entire lives creating songs and for just one, single solitary moment, everything came together just right and they produced a hit.

Why is this important and what difference does it make? As you talk about your product are you enthused? People can tell. I need to be more enthused. If I'm not excited how can I expect my customers to get excited. When describing product features and benefits do you sound monotone or are you enthused? If you're not it is fair to expect people to get enthused. And believe it or not there's a group of people out there who have never seen your product before.

My last assignment for the Marine Corps was Marine barracks Washington DC. And from Memorial Day until Labor Day every Friday night from five o'clock until midnight we were put on our dress blues and entertained the crowd who came to see the parade and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team.

The first three or four weeks of every new parade season was exciting. We haven't done this for a while. We get all dressed up in pretty clothes and we walk around representing the Marine Corps's finest. And then the thought of the long, dreaded season would set in. I remember the first time this happened to me and I thought "oh my goodness I have four more months of this."

So from that point on I told myself, "Michael you are going to meet somebody tonight that has never been to Washington D.C. before. Not only has this person never been to D.C. before, but this is the only time this person will ever come to Washington D.C. in their entire life. You don't know who that person is. So treat each person that you meet tonight as though it's that person."

If I can do that for the entire Marine Corps parade season, I can do that for my product and so can you. You are going to talk to somebody and your website will meet somebody, who has never seen your product before. This could be a one time shot. You don't know who this person is, so treat everybody as though it's that person.

Semper Fi,
Gunny Mike